How Do You Come Up With So Many Tennis Drills?
By Jorge Capestany, USPTA Master Professional & PTR International Master Professional.
Perhaps the most common question I get from people is "how do you come up with so many tennis drills?"
It's a fair question really because our site has more than 2,000 drills on it!
So here's what I tell them, it's actually hard for me to come up with drills. If I were to try to write down as many drills as I could, I'd probably only remember about 40 drills.
Helpful Tennis Exercise
In fact, I have a cool exercise I try to do when I speak on tennis drills. I ask the audience to write down as many tennis drills as they can in the next 10 minutes. Typically they get stuck somewhere around 20 to 30 drills. However, when I ask them how many tennis drills they've used during their coaching career, they typically say between 100-200 drills.
So what is it about tennis drills that makes it hard for us to remember them? I think it's a normal thing for coaches that been teaching for several years they simply forget some of their drills. Most coaches with 10 or more years of experience have forgotten more tennis drills than they can remember.
This is one of the most common things I hear when I speak. "Hey Jorge, that drill reminded me of one that I used to do", or "that drill reminded me of one that my old coach used to do."
Some of the best tennis drills are ones you forgot but can be recycled back into your drills repertoire.
My Formula for Creating Tennis Drills
So, here's how I come up with your drills. I like to think of drills as they relate to problems. So I start out with a player (or a group of players) and I think about what their main problem is. For example, maybe as a group, they don't move back on overheads very well, or they're inconsistent.
Once I have the problem defined, it's quite easy for me to come up with a drill. So my advice to you would be to reverse engineer the way you think about new tennis drills. Simply ask yourself what your players need the most help with, then find a drill that works on that.
However, make sure the tennis drill gives players lots of touches on the ball. This means that the drill will give them lots of practice on the features shot or skill. Hitting only a few of the featured shots, won't help them as much as hitting hundreds of those same shots. That's because ball count matters. If a drill doesn't give the players a lot of touches on the ball, it will take forever for the player to improve.
So I hope that helps you understand how we come up with our tennis drills.
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